Participants provide important data about rainfall amounts, climate trends
The Minnesota State Climatology Office is looking for volunteer rainfall monitors for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). The network includes more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide who measure precipitation in their backyards using a standard 4-inch-diameter rain gauge.
These rainfall monitoring activities are performed by individuals at home who submit their reports online. Climatologist Luigi Romolo said the data from backyard rain gauges are helpful and important in many ways.
“These volunteers help the DNR verify high rain and snow totals after big events, monitor drought and flooding, make our precipitation maps more accurate and provide needed guidance on Minnesota’s changing climate,” Romolo said. “This is also a great educational activity for families with kids and a rewarding hobby for anyone interested in weather or climate.”
Volunteers are particularly needed outside the immediate Twin Cities metro area. Volunteers receive training on how to observe weather trends and how to submit their precipitation and weather event reports. All training material is available online. They must purchase or provide a standard 4-inch-diameter rain gauge (available at discount through CoCoRaHS) and have internet access to submit reports.
For the past three years, Minnesota has won the “CoCoRaHS Cup” for recruiting the most new volunteers of any state. “We’re hoping Minnesotans will again come through in 2023, to keep the Cup in Minnesota and, more important of course, to improve our state’s precipitation recording,” Romolo said.